That’s how Upper Elementary Teacher Jerrod Nelson described his experience dancing with the performers from Jabali Afrika.
Jabali Afrika was the second of five assemblies hosted by Stanbridge Academy this academic year and featured two Kenyan musicians. The duo combines classic African rhythms with original compositions and makes them come alive on a wide variety of musical instruments including drums, guitar, and a kudu horn. The interactive performance concluded with teacher and student volunteers learning to do traditional Kenyan dance moves.
“I do ballet, and I like to choreograph routines at home, “ said a high school student who volunteered to dance. “I thought it’d be fun to learn new dance moves—they were more hip hop-y—so I volunteered.”
Getting to participate is definitely a highlight of each performance for the students.
“I’d probably say my favorite was the Egypt assembly, because it was really hands on,” said one junior high student. “I mean, we got to touch a snake!”
During the Egyptian Animals assembly, students learned hieroglyphics, dressed up in the guises of Pharaohs, and even got to pet snakes, turtles, and pygmy goat.
Other assemblies so far this year have been Ready, Set, JUMP with Physical Comedic Performer April Vollm and Joe “The Trick Star” Odhiambo.
“My favorite was the Joe Odhiambo assembly, because it was interactive, and I love basketball,” said a high school student.
The enrichment assembly program was started several years ago to bring educational entertainment into the school.
“We thought the kids would really enjoy the entertainment, but we also wanted to have some educational value in the assemblies we chose,” said SPA Assembly Coordinator Jackie Donaho, who scheduled this year’s events. “I tried to mix it up in the past with pure entertainment, like "The Chinese Acrobats" and the "Science of Sound" which had an educational theme mixed in. "Ready, Set, Jump" mixes comedy with the importance of physical activity.”
There is only one assembly left on the 2015-2016 calendar: Robotics on Wednesday, March 23. Click here to learn more!